Weekly Current Affairs

Notice

  • Northwestern University research team in the U.S. has developed a first-of-its-kind soft, flexible micro-fluidic device that easily adheres to the skin and measures the wearer’s sweat to show how his or her body is responding to exercise.
  • A little larger than a rupee coin and about the same thickness, the simple, low-cost device analyses key biomarkers to help a person decide quickly if any adjustments, such as drinking more water or replenishing electrolytes, need to be made or if something is medically awry.
  • Scientists at Caltech, U.S. have “bred” a bacterial protein to make chemical bonds that until now were thought to be made possible only by chemists in labs.
  • Molecules with silicon-carbon compounds are found in pharmaceuticals as well as in many other products, including agricultural chemicals and TV screens. Currently, these products are made synthetically as the silicon-carbon bonds are not found in nature.
  • The new study shows that biology can instead be used to manufacture these bonds in ways that are environmentally friendlier and potentially cheaper. The protein, called cytochrome c, normally shuttles electrons to other proteins, but the researchers found that it also happens to act like an enzyme to create siliconcarbon bonds at low levels.
  • Scientists have designed “mini antibodies” that block an inflammatory ion channel, quelling skin and kidney inflammation in mice. The so-called nanobody, whose tiny design allows it to latch on to the nooks and crannies of cell surface molecules with greater precision, paves the way for potentially-novel treatment for a wide range of inflammatory disorders including inflammatory bowel disease, chronic pain and multiple sclerosis.
  • Previous attempts to design such antibodies have shown limited benefit in clinical trials due to low selectivity and toxic side effects and due to obstruction by a molecule called P2X7. To overcome these hurdles, the scientists designed nanobodies, or small antibody fragments, that specifically inhibit P2X7 on immune cells.